Getting lost


Jahanshah Javid
by Jahanshah Javid

In a couple of weeks I'll be driving from Mexico to California and then across the country to Washington, DC. My daughter has decided she's tired of riding the bus so I'm giving her my car. I have no need for it. After dropping it off in DC, I'm going ... somewhere else. Some place far away.


I remember the day I quickly packed my stuff in New York and started my journey to San Francisco. An autumn day in 1996. I was glad that I was going to start a new life in California. My four-years in New York were memorable but I was out of a job and one thing you need in that city more than anything else, more than in any other city, is money. Lots of it, just to find a hole to crawl in.

Meanwhile it wasn't clear how I was going to make money in California. Hamid, my Abadani friend, had agreed to put me up at his tiny place in Palo Alto, in the San Francisco Bay Area. So I didn't have to pay any rent for a while. But what about food? More importantly, who was going to pay my internet bills? Mother's $500 a month was a big help. I was also counting on a few hundred dollars in advertising revenue.

I had no plans other than to go. My strategy has always been that I'll figure things out as I go along. Anything that ensures survival is good enough. The last thing on my mind was finding a job. I was going to California for its great weather and natural beauty. Everything would work out somehow.

California here I come!


When I handed over my apartment in Albany and left California more than two years ago, I was really leaving America. I don't want to say for good, but certainly for the foreseeable future. I can't make sense of it. To many around the world, living in America is a dream. Those who live in America are pretty darn happy, too, I'd say. So I don't know what's wrong with me. It's just an uneasy feeling I have.

I've been asked why I don't want to live anywhere in the United States and I've never been able to give an answer that would satisfy anybody, me included. For some reason, when I'm on American soil -- doesn't matter where, alone or not -- I feel anxious. I feel I'm attached to a live wire and can't break free. I have no peace, even when no one is around.

Sometimes I think maybe I'm upset with America's militarism. Or its wish and push for democracy in SOME countries, but not so much in others. I find it irritating that average Americans know very little about the rest of the world and very few bother to travel abroad. How can one expect a superpower to act reasonably and responsibly and fairly on the world stage If its citizens are clue-less and care less about things going on beyond their border? And what about the economy and financial situation? That national debt looks mighty scary. Meanwhile politicians have no grip on reality, no foresight, no courage, no honesty.

Those and other stuff bother me. But nobody I've talked to believes those are the reasons why I can't find a place to settle in America. They look at me as if I'm making lame, irrelevant excuses. And I probably am. I just throw them into the conversation so that I would have something to justify my discontent. The truth is that I have tremendous faith and admiration for American democracy and I'm convinced that it can, and always has, corrected wrongs. Call me crazy but I do believe common sense does eventually prevail in a democracy when people are forced to open their eyes and get involved. But until there's a crisis, a disaster, special-interest groups will get their way.

So who knows why the hell I can't see myself going back to live in America. I'm probably spoiled. And I know if anything happens, I can always run straight back to Uncle Sam, as I have in the past. Where am I headed? I'm not sure. I've been thinking of Easter Island for the past few days. That's remote alright.

Am I running away or chasing something? Nemidoonam... all I know is I can't wait to get away and get lost.


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by Rostam on

All I am saying is that someone who himself is "grinding kashk" should not accuse others of the same.



by comments on

I wanted to say that we heard you.  I don’t think that you or me are among those kashk grinding individuals.   Also, JJ expressed himself with no censorship.  Don't you think such a behavior from an "Iranian" with his real identity is so innovative and unusual?   Thanks to him that he doesn’t miss to inform us about his geographical locations either (e.g. today I am at Ciudad Juárez that stretches from 22 degree to 32 degree North latitude and…) 



by Rostam on

baaz ham dastmaal?



by comments on

If JJ is grinding kashk, could you ask yourself what you are doing in this website every day?  There is always a type of correlations between JJ and his fans (or IC users).



by Rostam on

Javid, you asked for an explanation. In another blog in defense of Mousavi you wrote: "

"maybe... but right now these "idols" are under arrest and great pressure from a regime that considers them its biggest threat. Other "idols" abroad are busy grinding kashk."

I replied to you that you should speak for yourself. In my humble opinion, your are one of those kashk grinders, and therefore you should refrain from criticizing others for the same behavior.


Hair color

by comments on

It's not surprizing if one's first hair color doesn't go well.  The color has to match the color of the person's hair.  You don't want to go with off dark or kalaghi for sure; that's for teenagers.


On the other hand, if you decide to color, you'll have to color it all the times as soon as a few white hair shows up.  Otherwise, natural hair color is a better option.  As well, you have to have fun and feel good with making a different hair color and appearance if you go with it.  I don't see any other reason. 




I have been a gypsy in

by comments on

I have been a gypsy in different cities in Canada and the US, but along with my wife and son.  Why?  Because we were able to afford relocating mentally and physically and we were enthusiastic and embraced all prospect opportunities for both me and my wife. 

If you want and you CAN relocate, why not?  Almost 90% of Iranians who live in Iran do not have the option/luxury of relocation mainly because of their Iranian passport.  Because most people stay in one place doesn't mean that we have to follow the same rule.

All said, I think to ham mesle ma kami koonet mikhareh.  I mean the pressure has not been high enough that you haven't made somewhere your home (or prison) yet. 

I somehow agree with the word of "spoiled" as well (not that I am not that way).  Spoiled definition in here: as long as you are young enough (i.e. able) and don't have a major health issue, then you are able to maneuver around.  By the way, during our relocations I have had several fights with different health issues including a cancer, which was so fortunate that went well and I survived.  As long as you stay with IC we see you here regularly and all the time.  That's the matter.

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

Rostam, I don't understand. Please explain.


Javid, reminder# 1

by Rostam on

Please refrain from saying elsewhere that Iranians abroad are just "grinding kashk", unless you add that you are speaking for yourself. Sorry to be blunt.

Jahanshah Javid

coming & going

by Jahanshah Javid on

Thanks Laleh. I will publish it today.

Shad o khandan o hamraah bashi :)


منکه ماندن را ندانم یا که رفتن


یادم نیست کی "منکه ماندن را ندانم یا که رفتن" را نوشتم. بعد از خوندن وبلاگت، تصمیم گرفتم منتشرش کنم. چند لحظه قبل در حساب کاربریم گذاشتمش. برو بخونش. شاید دونستن اینکه کسان دیگری هم هستند که ماندن و رفتن را نمیدانند، برات جالب باشه. سفر خوش


Nailed down

by ariane on

Nailed down. Stabilization. It'a an expression! To nail down something or someone, is to stabilize the object or person. Becareful about "crucification". Strong metaphor, might offend the ladies:)

Esfand Aashena

JJJ is there a downside to travelling too much?

by Esfand Aashena on

Seems like most of us would trade our lives with your lifestyle of travels!  As it is with most things there are pros and cons.  So what would you say is the downside/con to life on the road?   

Everything is sacred


Ariane, nailed down?

by ComraidsConcubine on

 you're making it sound like seeking crucifixation. Or is that nailed-up?

Anyway, what's all the fuss about in this blog? Some people get ill if they stay in one place, afterall that's what trees do. 


Easter Island

by ariane on

Surely, your website will be worth alot more than that! The platform and audience this site recieves is a diamond in the rough!

You are what the psychologists characterize as a Bird. Flying from one place to another. The experience is exhillirating.

Be carefull of Easter Island, too many earth quakes, I have read. I love the Idea though:)

If I could I would have moved to Liechtenstein. Close proximity to Swithzerland and Austria. Small, charming, fairytale like. Infrastructure is superb too.

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

Ariane... I live month to month as far as the money situation goes. If I have a few hundred dollars at the end of each month I'm lucky. So I won't be able to retire to Belize anytime soon :)

I have found traveling more affordable than I thought. And I certainly have no plans to live with anybody. Anything is possible :)



by ariane on

I have experienced these feelings when I was in UK.

Most of it was due to the fact that I was lonely. No love! Nothing!

I went back to Iran, mainly because that I thought I can find love and admiration better there.

My suggestion, unless you have alot of money and and can settle anywhere without worrying about a source of income, stay where you are and start a relationship with someone who can nail you donw where you are.

Moving is an unsettling and expensive experience and god knows I have done my fair of share.

However, if your bank account is a good friend of yours and allows you mobility, I suggest Belize or Cost Rica, they are safe and beautiful countries and life is much cheaper than states. In Belize you can actually retire for as low as $100,000.

Good luck!

Jahanshah Javid

Light brown please

by Jahanshah Javid on

Faramarz, make sure the dye is not too dark. I was talking to my daughter on Skype and she noted that my hair had suddenly become unusually dark!

By the way, I'll just be visiting Easter Island. Can't live there. I'll go crazy on an island. I need to escape, at a moment's notice!


Old Man and the Sea!

by Faramarz on

Home is a state of mind JJ, not a place! I think.

I believe that a person can find that place anywhere as long as he has a good grasp of his priorities and has learned to spend his time with people and things that he likes and has got rid people and things that he does not like. And somewhere in there, one has to pay for his lifestyle. So one needs to compromise a little, not a lot!

But I have to admit that living on an island that has not been ruined by tourism and commercialism is great. Just make sure that they have the essentials; clean water, good internet connection, fish from the sea and simple women who are charmed by a flower or a simple dress!

And make sure that you leave an address so that we can ship you the hair dye!

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

Thanks Bruce! Will follow your advice and march ahead in any direction that feels better.

Still waiting for your travel essay from Machu Picchu!

Anahid Hojjati

That Easter Island sounds like an interesting place for visit

by Anahid Hojjati on

But for living, I don't think so. But I think you were joking about Easter island, or may be not. I think you will settle at a place a bit less remote.


I think it's great!

by bahmani on

Don't over analyze your impulse to move around. Embrace it as an instinctive act. This is merely what you must do now, in order to feel right.

You're getting older and wiser and with that wisdom comes a sense of the greater metaphor of life as a journey.

Life is a journey.

Your desire or seeming unexplainable desire to move around, is naturally part of your current edition psyche, which as I know you, is one of a man with no particular country or place to call home, other than Iran, which is unfortunately "closed for repairs" at the moment.

And so you seek.

Nothing special or troubling about it at all, enjoy the adventure(s), it is all part of your greater journey.

Jahanshah Javid

going going gone

by Jahanshah Javid on

Thanks Monda, Divaneh. My real home is IC for all intents and purposes :)

I'm not searching for anything. I just want to see new lands, people, cultures... just for the sheer fun of it. If I learn something along the way, deegeh cheh behtar!


JJ, someone said

by Monda on

once you've found yourself, you'd never be lost, no matter where you are. And I totally agree with Divaneh, any change is for good... Good luck, feel safe, where ever you are. The nice thing is we can always find you at your permanent home, IC.


Good Luck JJ

by divaneh on

I think any change is for good, even the temporary ones. I admire your courage and hope that you find what you are looking for.

Jahanshah Javid

the road less traveled

by Jahanshah Javid on

Thank you Aynak. What an amazing poem...


Re: Getting lost

by aynak on

Thank you for sharing, Jahan Shah.   Now days, I know of a few other fellow Iranian like yourself who are living Frost's less traveled road.   I can only admire.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,   
And sorry I could not travel both  
And be one traveler, long I stood  
And looked down one as far as I could  
To where it bent in the undergrowth;           

Then took the other, as just as fair,  
And having perhaps the better claim,   
Because it was grassy and wanted wear; 
Though as for that the passing there   
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay  
In leaves no step had trodden black.   
Oh, I kept the first for another day!  
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,   
I doubted if I should ever come back.          

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence: 
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—   
I took the one less traveled by,   
And that has made all the difference.

Jahanshah Javid

Yes You CAN

by Jahanshah Javid on

CoP: You can too! Don't even think about it. Just do it, alone or with a loved one.



by Cost-of-Progress on

it could be viewed as a special privilage to be able to pick up and leave and go where the wind might take you just because you want to.

I actually know excatly how you feel and have wished at times that I could do what you're planning to do - but alas, No Can Do!




Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

Thanks All-Iranians. My work on will not stop, ever, no matter where I am.

At your service, always :)